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Health

Somalia Is Now Polio-Free

The United Nations World Health Organization (WHO) declared Somalia as polio-free yesterday, announcing that it has not recorded a case of polio in the last three years.

The last case of polio was recorded in the central part of Somalia in 2014.

Read More: WTF Is Polio? 17 Facts About the Disease That We’re This Close to Eradicating

“The absence of cases of polio in Somalia today is testament to the leadership, commitment and hard work of the government and people of Somalia, and the effective support and collaboration of many partners,” Dr. Mahmoud Fikri, WHO Regional Director for the Eastern Mediterranean, said, “We need to remember however, that Somalia is at risk of reinfection and we must stay vigilant.”

The country will need to maintain its vaccination campaign and ensure the population builds its immunity to the virus, according to Mohamed Fiqi, head of the WHO Eastern Mediterranean. Somalia remains at risk through importation of the virus from other countries.

Read More: This Couple Have Been Married for 44 Years After Meeting as Toddlers on a Polio Ward

Polio has been eradicated from all but three countries around the world: Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Nigeria. That means it is 99.9% eradicated and it makes our fight to end the disease all the more pressing.

The full eradication is an issue that Global Citizen campaigns on. Sign the petition urging the Commonwealth to level the law and end polio for good.